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United Nations (AFP) – The US envoy to the UN on Thursday called on Beijing to encourage Russia to “do the right thing” in the Ukraine crisis – and drew a sharp response from its Chinese counterpart, who accused Washington of creating tensions.
“We would hope that the Chinese would play a role in encouraging the Russians to do the right thing,” said US UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield in an interview with CNN.
Fear is high in Western capitals that Russia is preparing to invade Ukraine after building about 100,000 troops around its former Soviet neighbor.
Russia rejects these claims, but demands comprehensive security guarantees from NATO and the United States.
“The Chinese have expressed a strong concern in the Security Council to protect the integrity of borders and the sovereignty of states,” Thomas-Greenfield said.
“That’s exactly what the Russians are doing – they’re threatening the integrity of a border, so for China to deliver that message would be extraordinarily important,” she added.
China, the United States and Russia are three of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, with Britain and France being the remaining two.
China’s ambassador to the UN, Zhang Jun, reacted quickly to Thomas-Greenfield’s comments on Twitter.
“Our message is consistent and clear: resolve any discrepancies through diplomacy,” he said in a tweet.
“Stop hyping the suspense,” Zhang wrote without mentioning anyone in particular. “Russia’s legitimate security concerns should be taken seriously.
Following a tense meeting in late January convened by the United States, the UN Security Council is due to meet again on Ukraine next week.
Next week’s meeting was convened by Russia, which wants to discuss the implementation of the Minsk agreements on Ukraine, which were signed in 2015.
© 2022 AFP